Maureen Quilligan

Maureen Quilligan

R. Florence Brinkley Professor Emerita of English

External address: 
320 Allen Bldg, Durham, NC 27708
Internal office address: 
Duke Box 90015, Durham, NC 27708-0015
(919) 681-2149


Maureen Quilligan has as a primary field of interest in the Renaissance, with special attention to women and literature. She has published four books: The Language of Allegory: Defining the Genre (1979) Milton's Spenser: The Politics of Reading (1983), The Allegory of Female Authority: Christine de Pizan's Cite des Dames (1991) and Incest and Agency in Elizabeth's England (2005). She has also co-edited three volumes of essays titled Rewriting the Renaissance: The Discourses of Sexual Difference in Early Modern Europe (1986) and Subject and Object in Renaissance Culture(1996) and Rereading the Black Legend: the Discourses of Racial Difference in the Renaissance Empires (2008). Among other fellowships she has held a Guggenheim and an ACLS and was awarded the Sidonie Clauss Prize for Distinguished Teaching in the Humanities at Yale (1983) as well as the Undergraduate Advisory Board Teaching Prize at the University of Pennsylvania (1997). She is at work on two current projects: female political authority in the sixteenth century, and slavery in the Renaissance epic.

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Harvard University 1973

  • M.A., University of California at Berkeley 1967

  • B.A., University of California at Berkeley 1965

Quilligan, M. "Allegory and Female Authority." Thinking Allegory Otherwise. Ed. B Machovsky. Stanford University Press, 2009.

Quilligan, M. "Incest and Agency: the Case of Elizabeth I." Generation and Degeneration. Ed. K Brownlee and V Finucci. Duke UP, 2003.

Quilligan, M. "Freedom, Service, and the Trade in Slaves: The Problem of Labor in Paradise Lost." Object and Subject: Reconstructing Renaissance Culture. Ed. MD Grazia, M Quilligan, and P Stallybrass. Cambridge UP, 1995.

Quilligan, M. "The Language of the Body: The Taming of the Shrew and The Tragedy of Mariam." Renaissance Sexuality. Ed. JK Turner. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1992.

Quilligan, M. "Christine de Pizan and Canon Formation." Displacements: Woman Tradition Literatures in French. Ed. NK Miller and J DeJean. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins P, 1991. 126-43.

Quilligan, M. "The Constant Subject: Instability and Authority in Wroth’s Urania Poems." Soliciting Interpretation: Literary Theory and Seventeenth-Century English Poetry. Ed. E Harvey and K Maus. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990. 273-306.

Quilligan, M. "Feminine Endings: The Sexual Politics of Sidney’s and Spenser’s Rhyming." The Englishwoman in Print: Counterbalancing the Canon. Ed. AM Haselkorn and BS Travitsky. Amherst, MA: U of Massachusetts P, 1990. 311-25.

Quilligan, M. "Sidney and His Queen." The Historical Renaissance. Ed. R Strier and H Dubrow. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1989. 171-96.

Quilligan, M. "The Anthropology of Intertextuality: Mary Wroth and the Family Romance." Unfolded Tales: Essays on Renaissance Romance. Ed. G Teskey and G Logan. Ithaca, NY: Cornell UP, 1989.

Quilligan, M. "Milton’s Spenser: The Inheritance of Ineffability." The Ineffable Word: From Dante to Eliot. Ed. P Hawkins and A Schotter. A.M.S. Press, U of California P, 1985.


Quilligan, M. "Theodor De Bry's voyages to the new and old worlds." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 41.1 (December 1, 2011): 1-12. (Review) Full Text

Quilligan, M. "The Key of Green: Passion and Perception in Renaissance Culture." Modern Language Quarterly 72.2 (January 1, 2011): 259-262. Full Text

Quilligan, M. "Review of Mary Wroth by Margaret Hannay." Renaissance Quarterly (2011). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Review of Bruce R. Smith's The Key of Green." Modern Philology (2011). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Recent studies in the english renaissance." Sel Studies in English Literature 43.1 (December 1, 2003): 233-295.

Quilligan, M. "Review of K. Schwarz’s Amazon Love." Shakespeare Studies (2003). (Review)

Quilligan, M. "Recent Studies in the English Renaissance." Sel Studies in English Literature 1500 1900 43.1 (2003): 233-285. Full Text

Quilligan, M. "Renaissance materialities: Introduction." Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 32.3 (September 1, 2002): 427-431. Full Text

Quilligan, M. "Spenser and Slavery." Ed. I Baucom. South Atlantic Quarterly (2001).


Quilligan, M. "Renaissance Materialities." JMEMS (September 2002).

Quilligan, , Grazia, MD, and Stallybrass, P. "Object and Subject: Reconstructing Renaissance Culture." (1995).